The Technology Strategy Board (TSB) has announced the creation of a £1 million fund for digital and creative start-ups to support the growth of east London’s ‘Silicon Valley’.
New companies will be able to take part in the Tech City Launchpad competition to win funding of up to £100,000 for their projects (up to 50 percent of the project cost).
The TSB has also committed to help companies find match funding for the remaining 50 percent through a funding workshop that involves investors such as business angels, venture capitalists and other large companies.
The TSB is working with the UK Trade & Investment department to expand the Tech City area around Old Street and Shoreditch.
At a launch event for the fund today at TechHub in east London, universities and science minister David Willetts, said: “It is important that we nurture clusters such as the one that has grown up in this area. This initiative, with strong community involvement and including coordinated help to enable the companies to move fast towards commercialisation, is exactly what clusters need.”
The Tech City Launchpad competition starts on 6 May 2011, and is open to primarily companies in the Tech City; however companies across the UK are eligible to apply.
To enter, companies should submit their project proposals in the form of a two-minute video between midday 6 May and midday 26 May. Twenty project applicants will then be invited to submit written proposals in mid-July, and 10 finalists will be chosen to be offered up to £100,000 funding each.
The projects should last up to 12 months, and aim to develop a digital product or service to proof-of-concept stage or a user-facing trial.
Last month, 18 up-and-coming web technology companies in the UK embarked on a mission to develop business relationships and pitch for investment in the real Silicon Valley in San Francisco.